Monday, January 31, 2011

No Matter What

Whoosh! That was January blazing by. I got a new computer and it has had to be fixed a few times but I think we are good to go. Now I just have to fight my kids for a turn to use it.

I’ve never been very good at conflict or standing up for myself. Sometimes that transfers to my kids. I wonder if I might let their needs get stomped all over to avoid conflict or letting someone down.

A few times over the last few months I’ve had to step up to the plate for my kids. In big ways and small ways. I would prefer to hide. I want everyone to be happy but that just isn’t the way life works.

This winter we were at a Christmas lighting display and Annie had to use the bathroom. It took a while to find one and of course there was a line. She had all her winter gear on and it was becoming somewhat urgent.

When we finally got to the front of the line, a woman approached and asked if she could go first because she had some health issues and was in an emergency situation. The younger me would have stepped aside and let my own kid pee their pants to accommodate someone else. That’s how I am. And that can be a good thing – putting others first. But shouldn’t I be willing to stand up for my kids?

And I did. I kindly told her that we were also in an urgent situation. She’s five! I didn’t feel like it was right ask her to wait.

We’ve had some issues with an adult involved in another one of our kids activities. The adult was very aggressive in the assault on my child. I know my kids are not perfect. I know they mess up. But there is no reason for me to have to listen to someone rant and rave about how horrible they are. My natural instinct was to just take it and move on.

But I didn’t. I asked her to stop and just cut to the chase of what she needed from me.

Last weekend we had a big basketball game. Jenna’s team was playing two rivals and I wanted to be there. There was also a ladies work day for church. While there are certainly things that come over basketball and times I might have to miss a game, there are also things that are not that important. Things other people can do. Things that can easily go on without me.

While I was at the game I was jumping up and down as these girls were making shots and passes and working so hard. Girls that I’ve helped coach and seen grow. My own daughter. I thought to myself, I can count on one hand the things that would be worth missing this for.

It seems that there are times when standing up and drawing a line in the sand is loving our kids. I don’t think I could see that before but it’s true. They need to know that we are on their side no matter what. That’s the way Jesus loves us.

As a father has compassion on his children,
so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him;
for he knows how we are formed,
he remembers that we are dust. Psalm 103:13-14

That seems like a pretty good model to follow. I can’t do it perfectly like He does, but I can reflect some of His perfect love and compassion. He doesn’t excuse sin and wrongdoing but he still loves us. He helps us. He forgives us. He made the ultimate sacrifice for our redemption.

The thing is, our kids need to know that we are always on their side. No matter what. Even when they are in the wrong. They need to know they are loved unconditionally. That we will find a way to work it out. Find a path to reconciliation.

I don’t ever want my kids to feel scared or uncomfortable coming to me with their issues. Or to think that I would find them unimportant or unfixable. Even though I might be disappointed or angry at first. Through thick and thin I am there for them.

They need to know that I will fight for them, sacrifice for them, give for them. Everyday. Always.

I want them to remember me at their games jumping up and down and cheering the loudest because I love them. No matter what. Win or Lose.

They need to know that even when they acted badly, I’ll be there for them. Right or wrong. We will seek forgiveness. God can redeem it.

I am there for them. No matter what.

The LORD is compassionate and gracious,
slow to anger, abounding in love.
He will not always accuse,
nor will he harbor his anger forever;
he does not treat us as our sins deserve
or repay us according to our iniquities.

For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is his love for those who fear him;
as far as the east is from the west,
so far has he removed our transgressions from us

Psalm 103:8-12

1 comment:

Peter and Nancy said...

It's a fine line sometimes as a ministry wife . . . some people may grumble if you're not at things others think you should be at. But there are plenty of helping hands (or there should be!) at church, and your kids only have one mom. Our head pastor often says that he believes he will first be held accountable by God for the kind of husband and father he was, and then for the kind of pastor he was.

Good for you for standing up for your kids, and being there for them. In a big, dark world, they need to see that we are fighting for them and loving them.